Should I be exercising while pregnant?

You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about having a baby and what is going on with your body during those nine (really ten) months. We now will answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about having a baby. Each Monday, we will tackle a commonly-asked-question from the point of view of an expectant parent. Chiming in to give her feedback will be three women who have been there and done that: an expert (you know someone who does this for a living), a mom from our community (for the “best” friend advice you need) and a Mommybites’ team member (someone who will promise to give you the REAL deal and no fluff). Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question; it’s good karma.

Should I be exercising while pregnant?

Expert: Renee Sullivan

Ah yes, this question often brings on a discussion of the two extremes: running 26.2 mile marathons or settling down on a comfy couch curled up with our two favorite boys Ben and Jerry and watching reality TV, immobilized for forty weeks. Continuing with what you were doing before is a great place to begin, and checking in with yourself, being careful not to over exert. One rule of thumb on keeping your heart rate in check is ensuring you can talk through your workouts. Two of my faves: walking, a wonderful way to get our much needed exercise and prepare for our baby’s arrival, and prenatal yoga, part relaxation, part stretching and gently conditioning our bodies for our baby’s grand entrance on delivery day. Many moms have had great shorter births by focusing on these two forms of exercise. No guarantees of course, though two great ways to slide the odds in our favor.

Mom: Erica Siena

YES! YES! YES! Whatever you did before, you can do after, with some exceptions that your instructor should know about. The most important thing is to listen to your body. If something does not feel right, do not push yourself. You are not the same person you were before you were pregnant, regardless if you are 9 days, 9 weeks or 9 months pregnant. Respect yourself and your boundaries. I know the hardest thing for me was when I had to stop doing certain pilates or yoga (I have been practicing for 13 years) exercises because either it put
pressure somewhere that made me feel nauseated/lightheaded or my stomach was physically too big to do them. For example, I recently had 15 minutes to kill at the gym waiting for my husband so I hopped on the treadmill, which I have not been on since the beginning/middle of my second trimester. Everyone tells you walking is great for you and I walk all the time. So I set the treadmill to a 15 incline and 3.2 mph (which I used to always do). And what happened you might ask? I had to lower it down to 2.3 mph. At least now I confirmed why I am 5 minutes late to everything I go to.

babybites’ team: Laura Deutsch

I am an exerciser so I was sure to ask my doctor about this. She told me exercise was fine as long as my heart rate didn’t get too high. I have to be honest, I forgot the number so definitely ask your OB. I stuck to more stationary cardio like elliptical and bike. I remember my OB telling me that it is healthy to keep active during pregnancy, but if you are not an exerciser normally, that you shouldn’t start a rigorous exercise regime when you find out you are pregnant. But definitely ask your OB about all of this. My data is almost four years old already!


About our team:

Renee Sullivan

Renee Sullivan, parent coach and babybites support group director, works with moms each week to create their own personal parenting plan that is right for them, while making sure that each mom gets the support, resources, and community they need for their parenting journey. Drawing from her experience as an birth coach and educator, she guides moms – new, seasoned and expectant through the never – ending array of decisions that come with having a child. Before joining Mommybites, she narrowly escaped the trenches of Corporate America where she was a Senior Project Manager for The New York Times, Morgan Stanley, and Pfizer. She lives in New York City and is the mom of one happy kindergartener.

Erica Siena

Hi! My name is Erica Siena and I am here to answer all of your Expecting Mom questions. As an expecting mom myself, I am due December 14 with my first child, I understand that this time is exciting yet often confusing. Also, as both a trusts and estates lawyer and Pilates instructor as well as as a member of the New York Junior League, Mount Sinai Young Friends, and my Barnard class Treasurer, I understand how stressful this time can be, how there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day, how I could possibly handle all the paparazzi stress for 9 months just for society to allow me a personal assistant. I hope to be able to answer all of your questions for you.

Laura Deutsch

Laura Deutsch is the original founder and creator of Mommybites. Since first starting Mommybites in 2006 by handing out post cards to fellow moms on the streets of Manhattan, Laura has continued to use her business savvy, dedication and creativity to cultivate and grow Mommybites in its flagship city of Manhattan. Prior to founding Mommybites, Laura worked as a middle school math teacher at The Dwight School in Manhattan. Laura holds her BA from Binghamton University and her MA in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. She currently resides in Summit, NJ, with her husband, Brian, daughter, Ava, and son, Jacob.


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